Gut microbiome of native Arab Kuwaitis

Gut Pathog. 2020 Feb 26;12:10. doi: 10.1186/s13099-020-00351-y. eCollection 2020.


Background: The human gut microbiome has an important role in health and disease. There is extensive geographical variation in the composition of the gut microbiome, however, little is known about the gut microbiome composition of people from the Arabian Peninsula. In this study, we describe the gut microbiome of Arab Kuwaitis. The gut microbiome of 25 native adult Arab Kuwaitis was characterised using 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the V3-V4 regions. Sequencing data were analysed using DADA2. Phylogeny analysis was performed using amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) assigned to the Bacteroides genus and 16S rRNA sequences of Bacteroides type strains to understand the relationships among Bacteroides ASVs.

Results: About 63% of participants were overweight/obese reflecting normal Kuwaiti population. Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were the dominant phyla detected in the gut microbiome (representing 48% and 46% of total sequencing reads respectively). At the genus level, Bacteroides was the most abundant genus in 22 of 25 participants. A total of 223 ASVs were assigned to the Bacteroides genus, eleven of which were present in 50% or more of study participants, reflecting a high diversity of this genus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the Bacteroides dorei/vulgatus group was the most abundant phylogenetic group (representing 11.91% of all sequence reads) and was detected in all 25 individuals.

Conclusions: Bacteroides was the most abundant genus in the gut microbiome of native Arab Kuwaiti adults, with Bacteroides dorei/vulgatus forming the predominant phylogenetic group. The microbiome composition would also have been influenced by the nutritional status of participants.

Keywords: 16S rRNA gene; Arab Kuwaiti; Bacteroides; Diet; Gut microbiome.